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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.

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"....The truth is out there."

-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


-- Frustration Builds --


A birder clearly frustrated with the status quo wrote this herein-edited post pertaining to the IBWO-search on the Carolinabirds listserv recently:
"...The fundamental problem is that people are pussyfooting around the problem.
The "professionals" need to set up nets at the sites where the birds are, and watch them as you watch the Kirtland Warbler nets, or better. BE there to extract the bird. All we need is probably one feather.
I do wonder why people are not vacuuming the supposed (larger diameter) IBWO nest cavities.
But, the "ornithologists" are not getting the job done. Maybe it was a Mission Impossible....
Either: do what it takes and find or not find evidence. Or: stop looking for IBWO and do something at which you are competent. Again, this is getting to be like the Yeti or some conspiracy theory. The dog ate my homework. Then the cat. Then some other excuse.

If the IBWO has survived 70 years unseen and today is in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Florida, then the population can take the chance of losing one bird as a net casualty. I have a feeling the chance of catching an IBWO is less than zero.
If one did net it and actually were present within 100 feet of the nets all the time the nets were on the poles, I think the chance of killing or injuring the bird is nil. The real problem will be getting injured by that bird, if one caught it. The nets need to be open at dawn and dusk. Maybe the professionals cannot be bothered to get up before dawn. Who knows?
I guess I am just frustrated by people giving us plausible descriptions of them seeing the bird, and no proof....

The so-called professionals aren't even listening to common sense. They are just playing games, building careers, empires, whatever. I am sure there are some people trying honestly.
But, I almost fell over in shock, a few months ago, when I was told that "That stuff there, about which you are inquiring when we will do it, was just written for Congress. We have no intention of doing what we wrote down as our intention." And that, my dears, is our Fish and Wildlife Service. I am still disappointed. Disillusioned.
At least I was told honestly what the attempted deception was. But that is too complex for me to accept as standard operating procedure. What I am saying is that there is something wrong with a society in which we institutionalize "whistle-blowing" because honesty is not ordinary."

And how do YOU feel about this, cyberthrush?
Not sure which part of it you're referring to, but in general I'm not so much 'frustrated' as just disappointed that a photo/video hasn't been achieved yet. But I thought this post a good example of just how 'frustrated' others have become.

I don't believe netting would prove practical unless they truly knew a well-defined area where the bird would be expected -- and in THAT case a photo should yet prove do-able. (I believe netting has been considered in some quarters and rejected thus far.)
It is interesting that the poster is at a point of willing to chance "losing one bird" to prove the species' existence. I doubt that many birders/ornithologists are at such a point yet, but I don't know, maybe there's a larger contingent of folks thinking such thoughts than I imagine...
There is no advantage to a net since a camera can cover a similar area. Having spent time with Geoff Hill's folks, I can attest that they get out into the field well before dawn (wearing headlamps to find their way out into the main channel) and often return after dark. I agree that some of the ornithologists seem to be more concerned about their empires than the ivorybill.
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